The 2018 Honda Pilot is a smaller SUV and known for its good gas mileage and reliability, but most people probably don't realize that they have a decent towing capacity as well. I conducted a bunch of research and put all of the data into this one article for those of you out there that want to know the specifics on how much you can actually pull with your 2018 Pilot.
Remember to always read through your owner's manual to get familiar with your vehicle and to make sure you adhere to Honda's recommendations when it comes to towing or anything else related to your vehicle.
2018 Pilot Overview
Overall Towing Capacity: The towing capacity for the 2018 Honda Pilot range from 0-5,000 lbs. And depended on how many people you had in the vehicle, which reduced your overall trailer weight capacity.
If you had eight people in the vehicle you had no towing capacity and if you only had two people in the vehicle, you had that higher 3500-5000 lb rating, depending on you are model and whether you had an automatic transmission fluid cooler installed on your vehicle.
Engine Options: Only one engine was available for the 2018 Pilots and this was a 3.5 L engine, that also happened to be a V6 configuration. This is one of the main reasons that the chart to so simple to read, which will make it easier to understand for most people.
Trim Levels: I found six different trim levels available for this model year Pilot and these were called: the LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and Elite trim levels. I was not able to find a definitive answer on whether the trim level affect the overall maximum trailer weight ratings.
Assumed Weight: Honda did not specify an assumed weight with their maximum trailer weight ratings that were found in the chart, but they did provide ratings according to the number of people in the vehicle, so it really is unnecessary to state an assumed weight of the driver, in this case.
The chart for the 2018 Honda Pilot is broken up into a few different columns and rows, as you can see from the image below, and Honda lists their maximum trailer weight ratings depending on the number of occupants in the vehicle, which makes things a lot easier to calculate.
I also want to point your attention to the three columns that have all-wheel drive models that have an automatic transmission fluid cooler installed, all-wheel-drive models that do not have this cooler installed and two-wheel drive models. The two-wheel drive models and the all-wheel-drive models that do not have the automatic transmission fluid cooler equipped have the same exact maximum trailer weight ratings listed.
If you were fortunate to have an all-wheel-drive model that had the automatic transmission fluid cooler installed, then you would see the highest trailer weight ratings in the charts. It is also important to note that each occupant that is in the vehicle is assumed at a weight of 150 lbs. and each occupant has 15 pounds of cargo.
Tongue Weight Rating:
I was also able to find a chart that had the tongue load weight ratings listed and as you can see from the image below, the maximum tongue weight ratings were listed at around 10%, probably because it is easier to do the math this way.
If we read the text in the chart, we can see that Honda recommends a 5 to 15% maximum tongue weight rating for boat trailers and all other types of trailers have a 10 to 15% maximum tongue weight rating. The percentage of the tongue load weight is determined from the trailer's total weight.
All manufacturers usually state a maximum trailer weight, where trailer brakes are required and Honda recommends brakes if your trailer weighs more than 1,000 lbs. for most of their vehicles, including the 2018 Pilots.
There were six different trim levels available for the 2018 Honda Pilots and these were listed as the: LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and Elite models. I was not able to find any information that stated what trim levels were two-wheel drive versus all-wheel drive models or if they were even capable of having the automatic transmission fluid cooler option, so you could get those higher-capacity ratings. If I find more information I will update this article as soon as possible.
GVWR, GCWR and GAWR Figures:
I was surprised to see a chart that had all of the gross vehicle weight rating information, along with the gross combined weight ratings and the gross axle weight ratings for the front and rear axles listed.
If we look at the chart below, we can see that the front axle weight rating ranged between 2,734-2,855 lbs., depending on whether you had a 2-wheel drive or all-wheel drive model and the rear axle weight rating ranged from 2,921-3,097 lbs. The gross vehicle weight rating ranged from 5,545-5,842 lbs. and the gross combined weight rating was listed at 8,025-9,755 lbs., again, depending on what model you had.
What's Included In The Tow Package?
Some models listed an automatic transmission fluid cooler as part of a "tow package" but there were also other models that did not have this cooler installed and they had lower capacities, as a result of that. I did find a couple of notes in the owner's manual that lists what was included in one of these packages and it lists the necessities such as: the receiver hitch, wiring for the trailer and all of the other essentials that you would usually find on a vehicle.
There was also another note that mentioned that the all-wheel-drive models were the only models that could have that optional automatic transmission fluid cooler installed, and this was a dealer part.
Do I Have A Transmission & Power Steering Cooler?
If you are unsure as to if you have one of these transmission coolers installed on your SUV, then I would suggest you take it into a dealer and see if they can confirm whether you have one of these installed on your vehicle.
If you are mechanically inclined, you can check to see if you have transmission fluid lines going to the radiator or an auxiliary cooler somewhere around the radiator area.
Other Notes I Found:
As I was doing my final sweep in the owner's manual, I came across a couple more bits of information that talks about maximum speed limits when pulling a trailer and another piece of information that talks about wheel chocks when you park your trailer. This is why I recommend you read through your owner's manual to get familiar with your vehicle and to adhere to all of Honda's recommendations.
There were two main sources I used when gathering the information for this article and these two sources were the owner's manual and the brochure for the 2018 models. I listed links to these two resources below for those of you out there that want to check those out.
The owner's manual came directly from Honda's website, but I was not able to find the brochure on that same website, so I gathered that from a third-party resource, but it seems to be the factory manual that was offered back in 2018.